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News Archive (2013)

Dignity/Seattle Update

Dignity/Seattle celebrated its 40th Anniversary on October 19, 2013.  A dinner was held at a local restaurant on Lake Union.  Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA Executive Director, attended the festivities and spoke to the gathering.  She reminded the chapter members that although the chapter is small in number (20 members), it is in no way small in the contributions made to DignityUSA, and to the LGBT community in Seattle.  Seattle hosted the 1983 National Convention and will be host for the 2015 Convention.  Marianne also remembered the many members of Dignity/Seattle who have held national

Dignity San Antonio Celebrates Solidarity Sunday

By Chris Kohn, Julius Lorenzi, and Michael Torres

Dignity/San Antonio hosted its annual Solidarity Sunday Interfaith Service on October 6. Jamie Manson, a nationally recognized retreat leader, columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, and member of Dignity/New York, gave the keynote address. The event was attended by over 60 participants that represented a cross section of faith traditions.

Celebrating 41 Years of Dignity’s Presence in the Nation’s Capital

Dignity/Washington celebrated its 41st Anniversary with pride, gratitude, and gusto with a dinner, silent auction, and community service awards presentation on September 28 at the Dignity Center. Attendees had the option of either bringing a food item to the potluck table, or paying a bit more for the price of admission. This arrangement turned out very well as there was more sumptuous food to enjoy than anyone would have thought possible.

Dignity/Washington Lecture Series Update

On Saturday, October 19, Dignity/Washington hosted its first in a series of free lectures geared toward LGBT audiences. Guest lecturer, Hunter O’Hanian, Museum Director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, addressed the question: What Is Gay Art? and answered it with a fascinating visual and explanatory presentation drawn from his museum’s vast permanent collection.

Dignity Young Adult Caucus Update

DYAC is getting a jumpstart with new leadership and enthusiasm post-Convention. Following elections last month, the new co-chairs are Martin Witchger of Dignity/Washington and Larry Lozier of Dignity/New York. Our new secretary is Sam Albano of Dignity/Indianapolis. All three of us are excited to serve and lead the Young Adult Caucus for the next two years. 

Moving into a New Season

By Lewis Speaks-Tanner, Dignity USA Vice President 

On September 20, 2013, America magazine published a lengthy interview with Pope Francis. In reading the article, there were many points that LGBT Catholics will find hopeful. It is the second time the Pope has made gay-friendly or gay-affirming comments. Yes, his tone is a sharp contrast from the rhetoric of Benedict. Unfortunately, we have not seen any change in tone from our own bishops. In fact, just this August, Minneapolis Archbishop Nienstedt claimed Satan is to blame for gay marriage and condoms. Cardinal Dolan, being interviewed extensively after the America article, reminded us at every opportunity that the hierarchy has not softened its teaching on homosexuality using the same good old phrase, “love the sinner but hate the sin.” 

Sharing the Light

By Mark Matson

I am thinking of a memory from more than 15 years ago. I was attending Mass at my local Newman Center. The parish had the practice of including women in the rotation of preachers. Marie was preaching this particular day. I always found her reflections to be thoughtprovoking. This day was particularly so. She was telling a story from her childhood to make a point. I found myself trying to translate her experience as a little girl to mine as a boy. It occurred to me that this is what women in our Church have to do most of the time. And then I thought how the People of God are being denied another whole part of the spectrum of the divine on Sundays, that of the feminine.

Equally Blessed Coalition Gains Public Attention

By Jim Smith, DignityUSA Program Manager 

As you know, Dignity actively participates in the Equally Blessed (EB) coalition with our partners at New Ways Ministry, Call To Action, and Fortunate Families. We meet once a month in teleconference, and twice a year face to face. All of us are actively invested in EB. While many coalitions become mere window dressings for participating organizations, EB enjoys a shared, focused, and invested effort. Our recent face to face meeting was another reflection of that.

Dignity/Chicago Community Service Experience

By Mike Hogan, Dignity/Chicago

Dignity/Chicago chapter members who attended the recent national Convention in Minneapolis were inspired by the justice theme that permeated every aspect of the Convention experience. We asked ourselves what we could do to put that message into action.

One of the chapter members volunteers at the Lakeview Food Pantry, which has been operating for many years. It offers a variety of services, in addition to distributing food to needy folks in the area. It operates six days a week with two locations, one of which includes the “Boystown” neighborhood where the chapter meets for weekly worship and community-building. This Chicago neighborhood is considered “upscale” and affluent by many, yet we witnessed first-hand the extent of the need of those who rely on this food assistance on a regular basis, people whom we may not know, but who are our neighbors.

Dignity/Arizona Ministry of Pastoral Care Formed

​By Steve Stencil, Dignity/Arizona Board member 

Dignity/Arizona has experienced an increase in membership during the past couple of years. With a growing faith community comes increasing pastoral needs.

Early in 2012, a need arose when two new members of Dignity/ Arizona experienced serious illness, includ- ing hospitalization, and no one from Dignity/Arizona reached out to them during their time of need. Although community leadership was not aware of their need for pastoral outreach, the Board also realized there was no organizational structure in which members could request sensitive pastoral outreach during times of sickness, personal loss, incidents of possible or actual violence, or the harsher effects of aging. The two new members of Dignity/Arizona sent a pointed and heart wrenching letter to the chapter president expressing their disappointment and concern about this seeming lack of sensitivity.